A two stage snow blower is a tool designed to tackle the toughest winters. Year after year homeowners are ill-prepared for the sheer volume of snow that falls. Well, if you live in Florida, this doesn’t apply to you. As you know, winter weather is becoming more and more unpredictable. If you live a region where heavy snow is guaranteed to fall then a two stage snow blower is what you need.
We’re moving into an El Niño winter which means it will be even more unpredictable than other years. Some areas of the USA will likely experience milder temperatures (Pacific Northwest) but in colder regions, your chances of massive snowstorms is higher during an El Nino year.
Which Two Stage Snow Blower is Best?
The term “best” is relative. It really depends on where you live and how large of an area you need to clear. Also, budget is always an important consideration.
This article will cover several different two stage snow blowers, including:
- Snow Joe ION24SB-XR iON — (New Winter 2016)
- 24″ clearing width / 80V Battery / 13″ Intake height
- Power Smart DB7103-24
- 24″ clearing width / 208cc / 21″ intake height
- Poulan Pro PR270
- 27″ clearing width / 254cc / 23″ Intake height
- Husqvarna ST224P
- 24″ clearing width / 208cc / 23″ Intake height
- Briggs and Stratton 1696610
- 24″ clearing width / 208cc / 20″ Intake height
- Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890
- 28″ clearing width / 277cc / 21″ intake height
- Troy-Bilt Storm 2625
- 26″ clearing width / 243cc / 21″ clearing height
- Troy-Bilt Vortex 2890
- 28″ clearing width / 357cc / 21″ clearing height
— New for Winter 2016
Truly Innovative! 80V battery-powered 2-stage snow blower — Snow Joe ION24SB-XR
Yes, this is the first 2-stage battery snow blower. It’s quite impressive what Snow Joe has managed to do with this product. They’ve developed their own system which utilizes two 40V lithium-ion batteries running in parallel to create an 80V monster.
Here are a few features to get you excited: TracAssist snow tires, LED headlights, capable of throwing snow up to 32 feet, serrated steel auger which can move up to 1000 lbs. of snow and can run for about 50 minutes on a single battery charge.
Honestly, this snow blower may revolutionize the industry and shift people’s perception of what’s possible when it comes to engineering heavy-duty power equipment.
Watch this Video of the Snow Joe iON24SB-XRP
Don’t worry, if you want more details, we discuss the Snow Joe ION24SB-XRB later in the article.
But first we need to understand the differences about the different types of snow blower available. Here’s some backstory to help you make a better buying decision.
Dealing with Winter
Snow means different things to different people. To a child, it can be a magical thing. I remember the first time I saw my humdrum world transformed into a mysterious landscape of white dunes, punctuated by the outlines of familiar landmarks. It was like a fairy tale.
As an adult, I’ve seen the same sight and cursed loudly. To the adult me, it meant public transport closures, missing out on work, and the possibility of burst water pipes. Not to mention days of misery trudging around in dirty sludge as the snow melts.
While there may be some small blessing in being able to see the wonder in sudden snowfall, there can be no doubt that it brings a ton of problems too. Railway lines often have to shut down, sometimes roads become impassible, and remote communities may even get cut off.
Snow blowers were once extremely expensive machines that were only used by transport companies and civil authorities. While they are still used in this capacity today, there are also smaller and cheaper versions which are suitable for homeowners.
Two Stage Snow Blower | Why it Matters
A snow blower is one of those things that is extremely welcome when you need it and lies forgotten for the rest of the year. There are exceptions – mountainous regions where it’s snowy all year round. But, for the most part, deep snowfall is something we like to forget about for at least half a year.
This year (2015) is an El Nino year. This means that the wind patterns in the US will be different from usual due to changes in air currents over the Pacific. It’s impossible to predict exactly what these effects will be before they hit us, but one thing is for sure. Some areas will experience more wind, storms and precipitation than usual this winter.
This means there will be unexpected snowfall in some communities. The problem with unexpected weather is that it can be very disruptive when it appears. If you haven’t prepared for it, it can catch you wrong-footed.
When a heavy snowstorm hits a community, everyone who doesn’t have a snow blower suddenly realizes they need one. Hardware stores that only see a few customers per week throughout the year may suddenly be mobbed by desperate owners fighting over the last snow blower in town.
And when they sell out, there is little chance of a new shipment arriving in time (especially if the roads are blocked by heavy snow).
Of course, for the homeowners who planned in advance, this won’t be an issue. They just roll out their snow blower and chew through the snow.
The History Of The Snow Blower
No in-depth snow blower article would be complete without a look at where they came from.
Before the snow blower, there was the snow plow. A snow plow is a simple device mounted on the front of a vehicle. It breaks up snow and pushes it to the side, but it isn’t capable of dealing with very deep snow, and it gets stuck easily. What’s more, the snow is not thrown aside very far, so it can pile back into the cleared path.
Nonetheless, snowplows were very useful attachments for trains, and could help them to deal with unexpected sudden snow drifts. But they have their limits. This is probably why the earliest snow blower inventors had their attention fixed on railway applications.
The earliest snow blowers were really experimental prototypes which were not suitable for real world use. That didn’t stop their inventors from patenting them. The first one to be officially registered was the “Railway Screw Snow Extractor.” This machine was patented in 1870 by Robert Carr Harris.
In 1925, another inventor named Robert E. Cole registered a patent on his invention. It was a snowplow that used cutters and a fan to blow snow far away the surface; in this sense, it’s a true snow “blower,” unlike the modern machines that use that name. Unfortunately, Coles invention also failed to secure success.
The first successful and practical invention was created by Arthur Sicard, who patented it in 1925. This was the best snow blower so far, and it set the blueprint for future generations. He had come up with the idea in 1894, but bringing a new invention into the world can take years of work.
Within a couple of years of registering the patent, his machines were in use clearing the roads around Montreal – and the company is still going strong, as a division of SMI-Snowblast.
Types of Snow Blowers
There are 4 types of modern snow blowers – they are all designed for different uses. Choosing the best snow blower is easy if you know what they are good for.
These types are:
- Single stage Snow Slower
- Two-Stage Snow Blower
- Three-Stage Snow Blower
- Jet Engine Snow Blower
Single Stage Snow Blowers
The single stage snow blower uses an auger (a type of drill) to chew up the snow from paved surfaces. This snow is then ejected through a spout or chute on the side. Because the blade of the auger touches the ground, it’s not suitable for gravel or soft surfaces (it will chew them up too).
Interestingly, this type of snow blower doesn’t actually blow the snow. The snow shoots out of the side because of the kinetic energy from the auger, but there is no actual fan or blower. In fact, the only type of snow blower that does blow on this list is the jet powered one.
These are the weakest type of snow blower, and they cannot deal with snow that is more than 8 inches deep. They also have a hard time with sloped surfaces.
In some areas, the average level of snowfall is so high that these devices are just not up to it. In Buffalo and New York, the average snowfall is around 90 inches each year. That is deep enough to require a gas powered 2 stage snow blower. But in Seattle, they get an average of only 11 inches per year, so you can get away with a weaker electrical snow blower.
Two Stage Snow Blower
The two stage snow blower is similar to a single stage snow blower, but it adds an impeller. This is a rotating device that shoots the snow out at high speed. That means the machine can hungrily chew up and spit out snow at a very high speed that would choke a single stage snow blower.
The auger in these snow blowers doesn’t actually touch the ground, so you can use it on soft ground and gravel. It’s capable of dealing with deeper snow and slopes, too.
The 2 stage snow blower is a powerful configuration, and it’s ideal for most homeowner needs.
Three-Stage Snow Blowers
Watch this excellent video by Troy-Bilt which clearly shows how a three stage snow blower works.
This is the next evolutionary step in our snow-blower progression. If the first stage snow blower was an ape-man, the 2-stage snow blower would be a Neanderthal. On that scale, the three stage snow blower is a medieval knight. By the same line of reasoning, the jet engine snow blower would be an astronaut although it’s doubtful that you could consider it to be part of the same evolutionary line. I’ll show you why later.
The three-stage blower takes the same design as the 2-stage snow blower and adds another gadget. In this case, it’s an accelerator, which moves faster than the auger and handles wet and heavy snow. The accelerator is a propeller-like device which sits in front of the auger, spinning 10 times faster.
To appreciate the power of this arrangement, you need to watch a slow motion video. Suffice to say that the snow is sucked up, churned and ejected at a blinding speed.
But if you thought that sounds impressive, wait to see the next one:
Jet Engine Snow Blower
When I say “jet engine,” I’m not just quoting a marketing line.
The jet-powered snow blower uses a real jet engine to blast the snow away with a withering blast of ultra hot supersonic air. Before the snow knows what’s hit it, it’s evaporated to blisteringly hot steam and accelerated to hundreds of miles per hour. To the naked eye, it just disappears.
This type of snow blower is ridiculously expensive and is so powerful it’s not appropriate for mere homeowners. Seriously, it’s more likely to destroy your home and melt your driveway than just clear the snow away! Also, it’s very dangerous for any person or animal unfortunate to get into the way.
These blowers were invented in Russia, where they could be built easily from decommissioned Mig Fighters. They were used to uncover train tracks and clear airports.
Unless you’re a villain from a Bond movie, you won’t need one of these.
Electric Vs Gas Snow Throwers
Electric snow blowers are generally less powerful than gas powered blowers. So why would someone choose to use an electric 2-stage snow blower?
There are actually several advantages of using a device without an internal combustion engine. Firstly, they’re lighter. They don’t need fuel, and they start at the touch of a button (gas powered devices need a pull cord to start the engine turning). They start even when cold (and when you use these, it tends to be cold, right?)
Gas powered snow blowers need engine oil, and they produce carbon emissions and dirt (soot and partially combusted fuel). So they’re dirtier, too. Plus the gas engine makes a lot of noise.
But electric snow blowers have weaknesses, too. You’re limited by the length of the cord, and there are always risks when using an electric device in wet conditions. They are nowhere near as powerful as gas-powered blowers, so they will not be able to deal with deep snow. And they can overheat quickly.
Battery powered snow blowers do exist, and they free you from the need for an extension cord. An example is the Snow Joe iON18SB. As you can imagine, it’s more expensive than a regular electric snow blower, but you can use it virtually anywhere. They are also much quieter than other snow blowers – they are quieter than highway traffic.
Learn more about snow blowers in this video:
Battery powered blowers are typically a little weaker than electric blowers, so they are only appropriate in areas with light snowfall.
Gas powered snow blowers are much more powerful than electric blowers. They can cope with deeper snow. Because they contain their own power source (gas) you can take them to places without an electrical power supply.
And with the power of a gas engine behind it, most models are able to propel themselves through the deep snow, saving the user from fatigue and aching joints.
But you pay for these advantages, both in terms of money and with the following setbacks. They are bulkier and noisier than their electric counterparts. They must be maintained regularly to keep them in good order. And they can be hard to start when it’s cold.
So, now you have a good handle on snow blowers, let’s take a look at some of the best 2-stage snow blowers for homeowners.
Snow Joe ION24SB-XR iON | 80V Battery Snow Blower
24″ clearing width / 80-Volt Max (2 x 40 V 6.0 Ah) / 13″ clearing height
You can also purchase the same model but with two 5.0 Ah batteries instead of two 6.0Ah batteries. The model is: Snow Joe ION24SB-XR iON.
Basically, the main difference is 10 minutes of running time, so the ION24SB-XRP iON will run for about 50 minutes while the Snow Joe ION24SB-XR iON will operated for about 40 minutes. If you have a small yard then you can save yourself some money.
- Battery-powered two-stage snow blower.
- 80-Volt Max (2 x 40 V 6.0 Ah) EcoSharp rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
- Up to 50 minutes of running time. Compatible with all iON tools.
- Integrated push-button display: LED control panel indicate direction & speed selection
- Serrated steel auger moves up to 1000 lbs of snow per minute.
- Clears a path 24″ wide by 13″ deep without damaging surfaces.
- 180° adjustable chute can throw snow up to 32 ft.
- Dual LED headlights help you see at night.
- 2500W brushless motor — greater efficiency, decreases noise and vibration.
- TracAssist snow tires. Maximum traction in harsh winter conditions.
- Bold wheel well LED lighting.
- Reversible skid shoes.
- Load sensing technology adjusts to your demands on the snow blower.
- ETL approved; Full 2-year warranty; Includes 2 batteries + dual-port charger.
View or download the MANUAL for the Snow Joe ION24SB-XRP iON.
We’ve covered Snow Joe snow blowers extensively here at Chainsaw Journal. I’m excited for this new 2-stage battery snow blower because I truly believe it offers consumers a clean alternative to gas powered snow blowers. It fills a nice gap between gas snow blowers and battery snow blowers because up until now, when consumers were looking for a machine capable of clearing large amounts of snow they had to go with a gas model.
Don’t get me wrong, gas snow blowers are wonderful machines that are far more durable and powerful than either electric of battery snow throwers. But now consumers at least have a viable option for medium-duty snow clearing that is quiet, clean and powerful. This is a legitimate gas replacement snow blower.
I feel that the Snow Joe ION24SB-XRP iON will take the industry by storm (pun intended) and will quickly become a best seller with consumers. I genuinely believe that this 80V snow blower by Snow Joe is a product that will satisfy customers who want to use ec0-friendly power equipment for the sake of the environment, and also to reduce noise pollution, which is largely overlooked by manufacturers.
Power Smart DB7103-24 | Two Stage Snow Blower
24″ clearing width / 208cc / 21″ clearing height
You’ll be able to sleep peacefully in the middle of winter, even when the weather report warns you of a heavy snowfall heading to your city or town. This two-stage snow blower is a very affordable machine capable of throwing snow up to 30 feet and clearing snow up to 21″ deep. How’s that for raw power? More details below but here’s a quick overview of all the features.
- 6.5 HP / 208 cc engine: Ideal for heavy snow and extremely cold conditions.
- Snow clearing width of 24″ and a clearing depth of 20-inches.
- Fantastic drive system has 6-forward and 2-backward speeds.
- 12″ serrated steel augers.
- Self propelled.
- 180 degree chute rotation provides you with ample control.
- Can throw snow up to 30 feet (depending on the type of snow).
- Push button electric start or manual starter.
- Track tires provide maximum traction
- Safety override
- Handle-mounted trigger controls makes turning, reversing and steering easy
- 13″ inflatable track tires. Ideal for deep snow.
- Adjustable, metal skid shoes. Useful for any surface type.
- Rust-resistant exterior will last for years to come.
- Assembly required. Less than 30 minutes.
- Low-oil-level shut-down system.
- Two year warranty.
✓View or download the MANUAL for the Power Smart DB7103-24.
Overview | Power Smart DB7103-24 | Two Stage Snow Blower
The Power Smart DB7103-24 is a gas powered two stage snow blower with an electric start engine.
Remember how I was saying that gas powered blowers can be hard to start? This blower solves that problem by adding an electric starter engine (just like your car).
There is a regular recoil start (pull cord) for when you aren’t able to plug into a power outlet, or when the engine is already warm.
It’s primary engine is an impressive 208cc Two-stage LCT Snow Engine. The engine has a low oil level shutdown mechanism, which protects it from damage if you forget to perform regular maintenance. It’s designed for use in even the coldest climates.
This blower can chew through snow up to 21 inches deep. It cuts a swathe 24 inches wide. The 12 inch serrated auger doesn’t give the snow a chance, mercilessly dragging it into the impeller.
It’s self-propelling, with 4 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds. It also has high traction tracked tires, so it’s easy to control when the ground is slippery. The handle-mounted trigger controls make it very easy to reverse and turn.
The chute can be rotated through 180 degrees, so you can control where the snow is blown.
You can change the height with the adjustable metal skid shoes, to deal with different surfaces and conditions.
It has built-in LED headlamps, which is a great idea when you need to use in in the early hours of the morning or the middle of the night. And it has heated handles, which will be a very welcome feature if you’re using this in the middle of a blizzard.
Solid Steel Construction
- Plow-pile removal is above average
- Excellent surface cleaning
- Easy to use controls
- Electric start
- Built-in headlights
- Heated hand grips
- Multiple speeds
Could improve upon:
- Removal speed — is average
- Throwing distance — is average
- Challenging to maneuver
Finding a quality two-stage snow blower that’s both reliable and affordable can be difficult. There’s no shortage of inexpensive electric snow blowers and we’ve recently covered two excellent battery snow blowers (Snow Joe iON18SB and GreenWorks 80V snow blower), but none of them compare to the sheer power and clearing ability of the Power Smart DB7103-24 or any other 2-stage blower in this article.
If you live in regions where the snow is expected to fall heavily then I can easily recommend this model. It’s built with high-quality steel components and it’s dependable. For the money, this is one of the best two stage snow blowers you can buy.
Poulan PRO PR270 | Two Stage Snow Blower
27″ clearing width / 254cc / 23″ Intake height
If you’re in need of clearing large space from snowfall this winter then you may have found your new best friend to help you. How does 27″ clearing width sound to you? Not to mention the 23″ intake height. This two stage snow blower is literally built to swallow huge chunks of snow in one gulp. It’s a well-made snow thrower that you should seriously consider. Very affordable for the power and capabilities you get along with it.
Here’s a quick overview of the included features.
- 208 cc LCT Storm Force OHV engine delivers powerful performance.
- 27-Inch clearing width and 23″ intake height.
- Advance ribbon augers.
- For moderate to heavy snowfall.
- 6 forward and 1 reverse speed.
- Halogen headlight.
- Push button electric start.
- Compact two-stage snow blower.
- Non-CARB Compliant/Not For Sale In California.
- 4 forward and 2 reverse speeds.
- Extended clog-proof polymer chute.
- Large 15″ tires handle well in deep snow.
- Remote chute deflector controls.
- Two year warranty. 4 year engine warranty.
✓View or download the MANUAL for the Poulan PRO PR270.
Overview | Poulan Pro PR270 | Two Stage Snow Blower
The Poulan Pro PR270 gas powered snow thrower features an electric start, and has a 208cc Poulan PRO engine.
It’s capable of cutting through snow up to 23 inches deep, beating the Power Smart DB7103-24 by 2 inches. It cuts a swathe of 27 inches, beating the DB7103-24 by 3.
It has 6 forward speeds, compared to the DB7103-24’s 4. But it only has one reverse speed.
It has an adjustable chute deflector, so you can redirect the ejected snow flow.
The specs of this model are similar to the one above. The Poulan Pro PR270 has a number of advantages over the DB7103-24, the most important of which is that it can handle deeper snow.
At the same time, some of the features of the DB7103-24 make it a nicer machine to use – the headlamps and the heated handles spring to mind.
When choosing between these two models, you will have to decide if you need the few extra inches of depth and width that the Poulan Pro PR270 offers.
- Gross Torque — 9.5 lb-ft
- Cylinder displacement — 208 cc
- Fuel tank volume (with reserve) — 0.71 gal.
- Transmission type — Friction Disc
- Transmission Forward Speeds — 6
- Transmission Reverse Speeds — 1
- Working width — 27 inch
- Intake height — 23 inch
- Auger diameter — 30.48 cm / 12 “
- Impeller Diameter — 12 inch
Husqvarna ST224 | Two Stage Snow Blower
24″ clearing width / 208cc / 23″ Intake Height
This Husqvarna two stage snow blower can handle snow clearing under any and all conditions. Well, maybe not Antarctica but you know what I mean. This model has anything you could possibly need. It’s the perfect size and packed with excellent features, like heated handle grips, adjustable height, LED headlights, and much more.
Before we get into all the details and features, watch this video to see this snow blower in action.
- 208cc Husqvarna LCT 4-Cycle Engine.
- Electric start: Easy start even in freezing weather.
- High speed impeller.
- 5-year engine warranty.
- Oversize 15″ tires with heavy tread.
- Quiet muffler.
- Clearing stick.
- Friction-Disc Drive Transmission.
- Six speeds and one reverse.
- Redesigned rubber on friction wheel improves traction.
- Trigger Mounted Power Steering.
- Easy to maneuver, including when turning.
- Slim Line Control Panel W/ Adjustable Handles.
- Easy to use levers allows for better control.
- Loop handle design provides grip variations for end user.
- 4 different positions all users of all sizes to use comfortably.
- Heated Hand Grips.
- Remote Chute & Deflector Control: change direction side to side / up & down.
- Strong Auger Housing W/ Ribbon Auger.
- Ribbon auger makes snow easier to handle.
If you like this styling and feature-set then you’ll be happy to know that Husqvarna makes a larger 30″ version ST230P. This model has a 30-Inch clearing width and it’s powered by an enormous 291cc engine.
✓View or download the MANUAL for the Husqvarna ST224.
Overview | Husqvarna ST224P | Two Stage Snow Blower
The Husqvarna ST224P is another gas powered two stage snow blower by Husqvarna and the advantage over the ST224 is that the ST224P has power steering. It also has an electric starter engine.
Like the DB7103-24, it has LED headlights. Heated handle grips are a welcome addition, especially when it gets bitterly cold. It also has an adjustable handle, to make it comfortable for people of any height.
It features a ribbon auger, which mixes air into the snow as it is chewed up. That makes it easier to handle by the impeller, which in turn makes it possible to clear more snow faster.
The engine is a 208cc 4-Cycle Engine, which is Husqvarna branded. It’s designed to be easier to start in cold conditions.
A friction disc transmission helps the engine to deal with rapid changes in speed as the blower moves through snow of different densities.
The ST224P has a remote chute rotator and a deflector. The handle for the chute has a very smooth action, which makes it easy to make adjustments on the go.
The heavy tread tires are designed to maintain their grip in slippery conditions.
Metal skid shoes can gauge and scratch certain surfaces. The ST224P features plastic skid shoes to prevent damage to these delicate surfaces.
It’s easy to control this blower with one hand thanks to the interlock control.
If the chute gets jammed, you can quickly unblock it with the built in clearing stick.
This blower is a great option. It’s powerful and easy to use. The only weak point is that it takes a little more effort to turn than the Power Smart DB7103-24, but it makes up for that with the ribbon auger, which powers through heavy snow like a hot knife through butter.
What more could you want in a snow blower?
The Husqvarna ST224P is a full-featured two stage snow blower that’s been engineered to get you through the toughest winters. If you live in Seattle then you don’t need this much power but if you live in the North-East parts of the USA and you want a snow blower to be able to handle anything — well, this an excellent choice.
I know a two stage snow blower is expensive compared to an electric snow blower, but in terms of speed, durability and pure snow clearing ability they are well worth the money.
Fantastic snow blower for deep snow. Trust me, when a blizzard comes to town you’ll want one of these in your corner.
Briggs and Stratton 1696610 | Two Stage Snow Blower
24″ clearing width / 208cc / 20″ Intake Height
- 24″ wide clearing path with a 20″ intake height.
- 950 snow series 208cc engine for 9.5-foot-pounds of torque.
- Friction disk drive system.
- 190° chute control.
- 12″ augers.
- Throw Distance: Up to 35 feet.
- 13″ tires.
- Electric start.
- Free hand control
- Left side crank rotation and manual deflector controls.
- 3-year limited warranty
Overview | Briggs and Stratton 1696610
Self-propelled two stage snow blower with six forward and two reverse speeds.
Tough steel frame and chute designed with notched steel auger. Capable of handling snow and ice with ease. A durable aluminum gear box should last you for years to come.
The steel reversible skid shoes make plowing through the snow easy. Easy to maneuver through deep snow.
The 1696610 is powered by a Briggs & Stratton 950 Snow Series Engine is designed to start down to-20◦ F.
Briggs & Stratton is a name synonymous with quality. In fact, you’ll find many big name brands incorporating Briggs & Stratton engines into their own gas powered products. Why? Because it’s difficult to engineer a reliable motor, so instead of investing years of research and development into creating their own motor, and spending millions of dollars, they realize that it makes more sense to license it from an established brand.
Briggs & Stratton has been in business since 1908. In 1953 they created their first lightweight aluminum engine — and they’ve been refining it ever since. But beyond engines, they also have extensive line of outdoor power equipment. Bottom line: Briggs & Stratton know how to make heavy duty machines, and that includes this two stage snow blower. It’s an excellent snow clearing machine that will tackle massive snowfalls, and thankfully, it’s also built to endure the abuse of winter.
Read more about the history of Briggs and Stratton (View or download the PDF).
Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890 | 2-Stage Snow Blower
28″ clearing width / 277cc / 21″ intake height
The Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890 is a specialized snow blower that would be well-suited for people who live in regions where heavy snowfall is guaranteed year after year, such as: Denver, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Syracuse, Cleveland and many more. See if you’re on the list for the top 101 snowiest cities.
The main advantage of this model is the inclusion of a track-drive (or continuous track) system instead of wheels. This provides you far better grip on snow and ice, but where you’ll really notice the added traction is when you pilot this two stage snow blower up and down hills or across inclines — and when stopping. Basically, it won’t slide around or get stuck in snow like a traditional snow blower will.
Also, because the track drive is more stable it propels the snow blower forward (or backward) with minimal effort from you.
Track Drive Systems are Superior
There’s a good reason why snowmobiles and tanks have a track-drive instead of tires. Would you ever think of putting tires on a tank? Tires on snow blowers work very well, and they have been working well for decades, — but, a track drive is better. They aren’t essential, but they are better for challenging winter conditions.
When deciding on which snow blower to purchase you need to consider a variety of factors. It really depends on where you live and the type of weather you expect year after year. The Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890 is a more expensive design but I always do my best to give our readers a range of options so you can make the proper decision. You have to match the tool or equipment, in this case a snow blower, to your actual needs.
If you expect rain, buy an umbrella. If you expect snow under 10-inches, buy a single stage snow blower. And, if you expect blizzards that will drop over 12″ of snow in one day then get a two stage snow blower.
Watch this video to learn about how Troy-Bilt designs their snow blowers:
- Touch ’n Turn power steering.
- One hand operation.
- Heated hand grips.
- In-dash headlight.
- Push button electric start.
- 277cc 4-cycle OHV engine.
- 3 SelecTrac Drive modes to shift the unit’s weight for optimum performance on hard-packed or icy snow and on gravel driveways.
- 4.7″ x 15.8″ Snow Track Drive keeps 10″ of track on the ground at all times for maximum stability and traction.
- 6 forward / 2 reverse speeds.
- 28″ clearing width and 21″ intake height.
- 12″ serrated steel auger.
- Deluxe adjustable and reversible skid shoes.
- 2-year limited warranty.
- ✓View or download the MANUAL for the Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890.
- View this useful features diagram for this snow blower.
Overview | Troy-Bilt Storm Tracker 2890
Troy-Bilt is owned by a massive company named MTD — they’ve been in business for over 80 years. MTD owns several big brands that you probably recognize, such as: Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt and Remington. Troy-Bilt has a strong customer base and for very good reason — they consistently make excellent products, with an emphasis on quality.
The Storm Tracker 2890 is a unique two stage snow blower that uses a track instead of wheels. This is a far superior mechanism for snow traction. In fact, I’m surprised that more companies aren’t using a track on lower-end snow blowers. It’s similar to what a snowmobile uses. There’s a reason why you don’t see tires on snowmobiles.
Easy to Steer & Control
Designed with an innovative steering system that Troy-Bilt calls “Touch ’n Turn power steering system.” This system makes handling this two stage snow blower a breeze. Basically, steering is controlled by two easy triggers. Simply squeeze the trigger on the side you want to turn toward, and the snow blower’s self-propelled drive system will turn the snow thrower for you. It’s a big machine but don’t be intimidated because the built-in technology will assist you every step of the way.
Watch this great video showing all of the features:
Four auger modes:
- Transport: Raises the snow thrower auger housing for easy transport.
- Snow-covered General: Raises the snow thrower auger housing so that its shave plate leaves the gravel undistributed while clearing snow.
- Normal Snow: Adjusts the tracks to be level for full housing contact with the ground.
- Packed Snow: Locks the auger housing down to the ground for hard-packed or icy snow conditions.
26″ clearing width / 243cc / 21″ clearing height
- One-hand operation.
- In-Dash Headlight.
- Push Button Electric Start.
- Extended, clog resistant polymer manual discharge chute. Throws snow before the wind catches it.
- All-wheel drive.
- 6 forward / 2 reverse speeds.
- 26″ clearing width / 21″ intake height.
- 2-way joystick chute control – easily controls chute direction from the operator position.
- 12″ serrated steel auger.
- Deluxe reversible skid shoes.
- 15″ x 5″ X-Trac tires.
- 243cc* 4-cycle OHV engine.
View or download the MANUAL for the Troy-Bilt Storm 2625.
Overview | Troy-Bilt Storm 2625
As unpredictable as Mother Nature can be, the Storm 2625 two-stage snow thrower from Troy-Bilt is up for the challenge. Powered by a powerful 243cc Troy-Bilt engine, the Storm 2625 cuts into drifts and hard-packed snow with its patented Xtreme augers, breaking up snow before discharging it through an extended, clog-resistant chute.
Designed so you can use it with one hand for greater flexibility. It has a wide 200 degree chute rotation and an in-dash headlight for snow clearing at night.
28″ clearing width / 357cc / 21″ clearing height
As a bonus, I’ve added this unique three-stage snow blower. It’s a new model and highly rated in every department.
This model is exceptional in many ways. Consumer Reports rates this snow blower at 90 out of 100. Here are some areas it excels in — basically, it’s superb at everything!
- Removal speed
- Plow-pile removal
- Throwing distance
- Surface cleaning
- Easy to use controls
The biggest criticism is that this is a very loud snow blower and it requires hearing protection.
Overview | Troy-Bilt Vortex 2890
Move more snow with less effort and in record time – thanks to the Vortex 2890 three-stage snow thrower. The new 12″ inch accelerator that makes the three stage process possible spins at 10 times the speed of the Xtreme augers, breaking down the heaviest, wettest snow before throwing it out of the high-impact polymer chute.
The Vortex 2890 three-stage snow thrower is equipped with a reliable 357cc Troy-Bilt engine and large X-Trac tires that provide extra traction when breaking through the barriers of snow left at the bottom of your driveway. Additional features include Touch ‘n Turn power steering, heated hand grips and one hand operation.
Documents for the Troy-Bilt Vortex 2890:
- All-wheel drive.
- 6 forward / 2 reverse speeds.
- 28″ clearing width / 21″ intake height.
- Three-Stage Design.
- One Hand Operation.
- Heated Hand Grips.
- In-Dash Headlight.
- Push Button Electric Start.
- 4-way joystick chute control – easily controls chute pitch and direction from the operator position.
- 12″ serrated steel augers.
- Deluxe adjustable and reversible skid shoes.
- Reflective strips for safer operation in low light conditions.
- 16″ x 6.5″ X-Trac snow tires.
- 357cc* Troy-Bilt 4-cycle OHV.
- 2-year limited warranty, 4-year limited auger gearbox warranty.
Which Snow Blower is Best for You?
If you feel you might need a smaller snow blower then read our in-depth article on single stage snow blowers.
Also, we have written an in-depth snow blower buying guide for Winter 2016, so, if you want more information and additional snow throwers to consider then visit : Best Snow Blower Buying Guide for Winter 2016
All of the snow blowers I’m recommending to you are excellent. Any of them will handle large amounts of snow and they’re well made. I never writer about poorly made products. I spend a lot of time on research so you don’t have to.
I understand that some people prefer one brand over another but you will pay a little more for a highly reputable brand. Husqvarna products are always exceptional and high quality. I suspect that for most homeowners it will come down to price. Ultimately, you have to decide what your budget is and how much snow you expect to clear year after year.
If you live in an area where the snowfall is minimal then you probably don’t need a two stage snow blower and you can probably save some money and purchase a single stage snow blower. For example, if you never get more than six inches of snow at one time then an electric or battery powered snow blower will get you through the winter.
Replacement Skid Shoes | Arnold 490-241-0010
These will fit most two stage snow blowers.
Note: Make sure you check to make sure your two stage snow blower is compatible with these slide shoes. Amazon will tell you if these will fit your snow blower. All you have to do is enter your model number within the product listing and it will tell you.
- Replacement universal poly slide (skid) shoes for snow throwers..
- Fits the majority of two-stage and three-stage snow blowers.
- Prevents scratches and damage to your driveway or sidewalk.
YakTrax Pro | Snow Clearing Safety Gear
- Spikeless, ultra lightweight design.
- 360° of traction with patented skid lock coil system.
- Durable natural rubber outerband for flexible fit.
- Abrasion resistant 1.4mm steel coils.
- Removable strap ensures secure fit.
- Heel tab allows for easy installation and removal.
- Shaped coil.